The impact of FDG-PET/CT in the management of patients with vulvar and vaginal cancer

N. L. Robertson, H. Hricak, Y. Sonoda, R. E. Sosa, M. Benz, G. Lyons, N. R. Abu-Rustum, E. Sala, H. A. Vargas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objectives To evaluate the changes in prognostic impression and patient management following PET/CT in patients with vulvar and vaginal carcinoma; and to compare PET/CT findings with those of conventional imaging modalities. Methods We summarized prospectively and retrospectively collected data for 50 consecutive patients from our institution that enrolled in the National Oncologic PET Registry and underwent FDG-PET/CT for a suspected or known primary or recurrent vulvar/vaginal cancer. Results 54/83 (65%) studies included had a diagnosis of vulvar cancer, and the remaining 29/83 (35%), a diagnosis of vaginal cancer. Following FDG-PET/CT, the physician's prognostic impression changed in 51% of cases. A change in patient management, defined as a change to/from a non-interventional strategy (observation or additional imaging), to/from an interventional strategy (biopsy or treatment), was documented in 36% of studies. The electronic records demonstrated that 95% of the management strategies recorded in the physician questionnaires were implemented as planned. MRI and/or CT were performed within one month of the FDG-PET/CT in 20/83 (24%) and 28/83 (34%) cases, respectively. FDG-PET/CT detected nodes suspicious for metastases on 29/83 (35%) studies performed. MRI and CT detected positive nodes on 6 and 11 studies respectively. Distant metastases were identified in 10 cases imaged with FDG-PET and 5 cases that had additional conventional CT imaging. All suspicious lesions seen on CT were positively identified on PET/CT. In 4 cases, an abnormality identified on PET/CT, was not seen on diagnostic CT. Conclusions FDG-PET/CT may play an important role in the management of vulvar and vaginal carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-424
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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